Monday, August 15, 2011



On Saturday I was tired from long hours of work and personal reading.   (I have about 30 books at various stages of completeness on my Kindle and I am not counting the approximate 15 to 30 minutes I am trying to get in of various spiritual books each day.)   I have had a particular interest in some of the recent Noetic Science findings.    As a result I slept late and then got asked to help with some household cleaning activities before heading out so I arrived at the contact station around 13:00.     While touching base with the contact station rangers a group of three boys who looked fairly frazzled arrived and asked for directions as to the quickest way to get to Matthews Arm campground where their car was.     They had been backpacking for 5 days and thought they were on the trail that would take them back to their car.


They found out that cells phones did not work and you really could not call a cab unless you wanted to spend an awful lot of money.   I agreed to shuttle one of them up to their car.   This took over an hour, 52 miles of round trip driving and by the time I got back it was around 15:00.   

Duke Research Project.  
I had a LONG! talk with a Duke researcher who is going to try and take a quantitative look at Old Rag traffic.   You may see him doing his hiker counts in the upper lot.  

My discussion with the Duke researcher made me even later so I figured I would do an up and back on the fire road/Saddle Trail.     It started to rain long before I got to PO Junction around 18:00.    Since it seemed certain the rain would not clear before dark and all the hikers had been washed off Old Rag with the rain I decided to head on home and come back the next day. 


On the next day I did not get to the contact station until around 15:00 and decided to finish my prior days plan.     I got all the way to Byrds Nest Shelter just in time to avoid the rain.  It poured complete with very heavy thunder and lightning.     Not being in any particular rush to get home I hung at Byrds Nest eating some food, reading my Kindle, and smoking my pipe.    I was rewarded after a little over an hour with the sky clearing to the west.     This happened just in time for me to hustle up to the summit and experience a beautiful sunset to the west and a rainbow to the east.

Enjoying the rain from a nice dry shelter.

A huge wonderful arching rainbow, (did I say huge?) to the east with a dark menacing thunderstorm providing a poignant background of angry swirling darkness behind a bright joyful rainbow.    

Sound byte credit goes to, The Young Rascals Grovin'

Red Velvet Ant aka Cow Killer aka Dasymutilla occidentalis .   Not an ant but a wingless wasp with the reputation of having a sting that will make you wish you were dead.

This young bear has been hanging aloud the area of PO Junction and Old Rag Shelter.    I saw a coyote at Old Rag Shelter but could not get my camera out in time to get a picture.

With the recent rains the mushrooms are starting to pop up.

After the storm from the slab above Byrds Nest shelter.    Spectacular sunset to the west and wonderful rainbow to the east.    WOW!!!!

I did not see my raccoon friend myself but I did get a report that she had come up to and was begging food from a group of Boy Scouts near the summit.

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